Dr Nicola Smith


Senior Lecturer in Political Science

Department of Political Science and International Studies

Nicola Smith

Contact details

Telephone +44 (0)121 288 2937

Telephone (2) +44 (0)121 414 7569

Fax +44 (0)121 414 3496

Email n.j.smith.1@bham.ac.uk

Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Nicola Smith is a political economist whose work is broadly concerned with debates about globalisation and social justice.

Feedback and office hours

Tuesdays 2-4pm

Thursdays 2-3pm

(term-time only)


  • PhD Political Science (Birmingham)
  • MA Research Methods (Political Science) (Birmingham)


Nicola achieved her PhD here at the University of Birmingham on Ireland's experience of globalisation in 2003 and since then she has published on a variety of issues surrounding globalisation, neo-liberalism and social justice.  Among other themes, Nicola’s current research explores: the intersections between feminist political economy and queer theory; the nature of ‘International Political Economy’ and ‘Political Science’ as disciplinary terrains; the global political economy of commercial sex; and the body in/and global capitalism.

Nicola is currently Director of the MA Programme in IPE and Information Officer for POLSIS; Exams Officer, Staff-Student Liaison Contact and Year Tutor for the Cross-College Liberal Arts Programme; and also serves on the Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) Ethics Committee.  In 2013 Nicola received the Award for Excellence in Teaching and Supporting Student Learning for the College of Social Sciences, and she served on the University’s pilot Emerging Leaders' Programme in 2013-14.

Nicki also edits (with Adrienne Roberts and Juanita Elias) the new book series on Global Political Economies of Gender and Sexuality for Rowman & Littlefield International.


Pols G79 Globalisation & Governance

Pols SD1D Research Skills & Literacy: Philosophy & Method in the Social Sciences

Postgraduate supervision

I have co/supervised a number of PhD projects through to successful completion and am currently co/supervising the following projects:

  • Lindsay Murch, Military Technologies & the Body (PhD)
  • Hena Singh, Neo-Liberalism and Women's Rights (PhD)
  • Christian Hernandez, Globalisation and Latin America’s Emergence (PhD)
  • Corina Filipescu, EU Enlargement & Romania(PhD)
  • Shardia Briscoe-Palmer, Masculinity & HIV (PhD)
  • Bethan Irvine, Body Building & Gender Logics (MRes)

I welcome applications from potential PhD students in the following areas:

  • Critical Approaches to IPE
  • Feminist, Queer & Tran* Theories
  • Philosophy of the Body
  • Global Social Justice
  • Global Ethics
  • Sex Work


Research groups:  Gender and Feminist Theory Research Group, International Political Economy

Research and academic interests

  • Global political economy
  • Global ethics & social justice
  • Feminist, queer & trans* theory
  • Sexual labour

Current and recent projects

Other activities

Other professional appointments

  • 2013-present: External Examiner (International Relations), University of Bristol
  • 2011 - present: External Examiner (Politics), Oxford Brookes University
  • 2009 -2010: Co-Convenor of the Centre for Sex Work Research and Policy (CSWRP) UK
  • 2006 - present: Editorial Associate of the journal 'British Politics'
  • 2007 - 10: Co-Director (with Donna Lee) of the BISA Working Group on Small States
  • 2005 - 08: Membership Secretary of the Global Studies Association

Associate member of the UK Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and the Higher Education Academy; active member of CSWRPUK and CSWRPEU.


Selected publications (see https://bham.academia.edu/NicolaSmithfor pre-print versions):

Authored Books

Smith, N. (2005) Showcasing Globalisation? The Political Economy of the IrishRepublic (Manchester: Manchester University Press)

Edited Books

M. Laing, K. Pilcher and N. Smith (eds) (forthcoming 2014) Queer Sex Work  (London: Routledge)

Cameron, A., J. Dickinson and N. Smith (eds) (2013) Body/State (Farnham: Ashgate)

Widdows, H. and N. Smith (eds) (2011) Global Social Justice  (London: Routledge)

Journal Special Issues

Smith, N. and D. Lee (2015) ‘Corporeal Capitalism: The Body in International Political Economy’ Global Society, 29: 1.

Smith, N. and M. Laing (eds) (2012) ‘Working Outside the (Hetero)Norm? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Sex Work’, Sexualities,  15: 5

Smith, N. and H. Hoffler (eds) (2009) ‘Global Social Justice in Theory and Practice’, Journal of Global Ethics, 5: 2

Lee, D. and N. Smith (eds) (2008) ‘The International Political Economy of Small States', The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 97

Journal Articles

N. Smith and D. Lee (2014) 'What's Queer About Political Science?' British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Early View

C. Hay and N. Smith (2013) 'The Story of a North-Sea Bubble: The Strange Demise of the Anglo-Liberal Growth Model in the UK and Ireland', European Political Science Review. 5: 3

Smith, N. (2012) ‘Body Issues: The Political Economy of Male Sex Work’, Sexualities, 15: 5

Smith, N. (2011) ‘The International Political Economy of Commercial Sex’, Review of International Political Economy , 18: 4

Lee, D. and Smith, N (2010) 'Small State Discourses in the International Political Economy’, Third WorldQuarterly , 31: 7 

Hay, C. and N. Smith (2010) ‘How do Policy-Makers Really Understand Globalisation? The Internal Architecture of Anglophone Globalisation Discourse in Europe’, Public Administration , 88: 4

Smith, N. (2009) ‘Global Social Justice – A “Matter of Human Survival”: An Interview with Clare Short’, Journal of Global Ethics , 5: 2

Lee, D. and N. Smith (2008) ‘The Political Economy of Small African States in the WTO’, The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs , 97.  [Selected as one of five classic articles to celebrate the journal’s Centenary in 2010]

Bates, S. and N. Smith (2008) ‘Understanding Change in Political Analysis: On the Need to Bring Space into Theoretical Positions and Empirical Analyses', Political Studies Review (2008), 6: 2

Smith, N. and C. Hay (2008) ‘Mapping the Political Discourse of Globalisation and European Integration in the UK and Ireland Empirically’, European Journal of Political Research , 47: 3

Smith, N. (2006) ‘Mapping Processes of Policy Change in Contemporary European Political Economies: The Irish Case’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations , 8: 4

Hay, C., N. Smith and M. Watson (2006) ‘Beyond Prospective Accountancy: Reassessing the Case for British Membership of the Single European Currency Comparatively’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations , 8:1

Hay, C. and N. Smith (2005) ‘Horses for Courses? The Political Discourse of Globalisation and European Integration in the UK and Ireland’, West European Politics , 28:1

Smith, N. Pace, M. Lee, D. (2005) ‘Size Matters: Small States in International Relations’, International Studies Perspectives(2005), 6:3

Smith, N. (2004) ‘Deconstructing “Globalisation” in Ireland’, Policy & Politics , 32:4

Smith, N. (2002) ‘The Irish Republic – “A Showpiece of Globalisation”?’, Politics , 22:3


  • Sex work
  • Queer & trans* politics
  • Anti-globalisation

Media experience

  • BBC Five Live (on male escorting in the UK)
  • The Voice of Russia (on students who sell sex)

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